Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Signing readiness

I found this FAQ at that says blowing and clapping are early signs and show the start of the progression to full signing dexterity:

"Many children do not start signing back until they are closer to 11 or 12 months old [like our child!]. Typically, they will start with the signs and gestures that involve facial expression (blowing, panting), then whole arm signs & gestures (i.e., bye bye, clapping), then hand signs (i.e., hat, milk) and finally signs involving various hand shapes and more dexterity (i.e., cat, pointing)."

Mikko began with blowing back when we would blow on him, though we weren't using it as any sort of sign. He then began to love clapping, and now he does it throughout the day, appropos of nothing much. His first real sign was "cat," but it was a modified one that was essentially a hand sign (similar to the sign for "milk"). Now we're working on "all done" (he likes to throw his hands in the air), "more" (akin to clapping), and "daddy" -- I'm debating whether it's worth tossing "mama" in there as well, considering the placement of "dad" and "mom" seem like a fine distinction for Mikko at this point. Mikko's closest approximation of "dad" right now is sort of a "Heil Hitler." We'll try not to let him do it in public.


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